Past Events

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Islamophobia: Embrace British Values. Erase Muslim Identity?

Title: Islamophobia: Embrace British Values. Erase Muslim Identity?

Speakers: Dr Salman Sayyid, Arzu Merali, Asif Sadiq, Dr Chris Allen

Date: 30 October 2015

Time: 18:45 – 20:30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, W1H 4LP


Event details:

National Islamophobia Awareness Month was tabled in Parliament on November 2014 because of the deep concern at figures from the Metropolitan Police that anti-Muslim hate crime had risen 65 per cent in 12 months. This year, according to the Metropolitan police the number of hate crimes against Muslims in London has once again risen by almost three quarters since the previous year. These figures are only a sample based on London and figures may be much higher in other parts of Britain. 

Is Islamophobia more than just prejudice and ignorance or can it be measured on hate crime alone? Why do we see so much apathy amongst the Muslim community especially, in strategically challenging the status quo?

How can we get beyond being on the defence and having to constantly assert that Islam is a religion of Peace? Has the public lost confidence in the police and the authorities in the wake of counter terrorism strategies such as Prevent?

How can we facilitate and empower those that are subjects of Islamophobia? Does having British values mean the erasure of Muslim identity?

Join us on the doorstep of Islamophobia awareness month to discuss with our expert panel. 


Speaker Details:

Dr Salman Sayyid is currently based at the University of Leeds.  Previously, he held academic positions in London, Manchester and Adelaide.  From 2010-2013, he was the inaugural director of the International Centre of Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding in Australia.  Dr Sayyid  is the founding editor of ReOrient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies.   His major publications include A Fundamental Fear, (which despite being banned by the Malaysian government in its third edition), Recalling the Caliphate, Racism, Governance and Public Policy: Beyond Human Right (co-authored with I. Law and K. Sian), and Thinking through Islamophobia: Global Perspectives (co-edited with A.Vakil).  Sayyid’s work has been translated in half a dozen languages, and he is a frequent and regular contributor to international and national media. His recent investigations have been focused on questions of tolerance and multiculturalism, questions of racism and Islamophobia, and questions around civil liberties and anti-radicalization campaigns directed at Muslim populations. 

Arzu Merali is a writer and researcher born and based in London, UK.  She focuses on human rights, Islamic feminism, decoloniality and the grammars of human dignity.  She is one of the founders of Islamic Human Rights Commission ( and formerly an editor of the webjournal Palestine Internationalist.  She has an MA in English Literature via Cambridge University, postgraduate studies in Law via Nottingham Trent University and an MA in International Relations from the University of Kent.

Her work has been published in various newspapers, magazines, on-line publications and journals, including The Guardian, BBC News on-line, Hecate, New Internationalis, New Statesman and many others. 

Asif Saqid is the Head of the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Unit at the City of London Police. Asif has worked in a number of different departments within the Police Service including Counter Terrorism, Economic Crime, CID, Community Policing and the Business Policing Team. Asif Sadiq is currently the President of the National Association of Muslim Police. The NAMP is a National employee network spanning across 43 Police forces, providing confidential support, advice and guidance to all employees about issues relating to Islam. Their aims include promoting a wider understanding of Islam within the Police service and the wider community; and helping to promote community cohesion, including engagement with the Muslim community.

Asif is an ambassador for Remembering Srebrenica which is a British charity looking at the consequences of hate and raising awareness of hate to ensure communities live together in harmony, he is a board member for Mosaic and Khadeeja Welfare trust. 

Dr Chris Allen is a Lecturer in the Institute of Applied Social Studies at the University of Birmingham. For the past decade and a half, Chris has been researching the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Having completed his Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded doctoral studies that explored the discourse and theory of Islamophobia at Birmingham, he has since gone on to develop research which explores a range of issues regarding the ‘problematisation’ of Muslims and Islam in today’s Britain, from the experience of Muslim women victims of hate crime to the anti-Islam ideologies of the far-right. He has published widely, regularly appears in the media and until recently, was an independent adviser to the Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hate.” 


Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30.  Doors open at 6:30pm and the talk begins at 7:00pm. If you have any questions, please contact us on